Wednesday, November 05, 2014

A lesson on College Hill

Learn about what a body can do
what cannot be put to paper or to flame
and when to empty the mind like a bin

When full daylight barely lights the Way
there are too many objects
strewn like tumbledown boxes
hovering liquids
talking books

So light
light thing
talk me through
and lighten my way

When all possibilities
will have been
realised and
half forgotten

and only then
may the universe sigh
and once again contract


Sunday, January 05, 2014

The north wind is high

The north wind is high and warm
fetching a sweet scent

with the first signs of
long and heavy rain

A man I spy engaged in
the simple acts of folding laundry

is a folder of illusions
and a rearrangement of feeling

The brute fact of love
echoed through the windows

open to the morning’s warmth
The sparrows squabble on the pavement below


Saturday, August 10, 2013

At Sea

Worse things
on the swell and surge

have fallen to
our sorry imaginations

so we could sail over the lines
of everyone’s expectations

Deduct God from the equation
and it’s just you riding and taking on water

the sum and the remainder
of deeds that flowed on down

                             Grant Duncan 16.5.13

Friday, May 10, 2013


Strewn before us
was evidence of a kind

you wouldn’t wish to see
lying about

for young historians
of the future to find

Apparently hidden
but willing to be revealed

in those texts
you dog-eared eagerly

as a student
and vandalised

with note after note
in ballpoint pen

telling of your dates
and their times places and names

and memories of what
the sky was like that day

knowledge too cold
to be used

against you now
old man

                 Grant Duncan 24.4.13

Friday, April 05, 2013

A grammar à propos of nothing

About us
This line tells you
what we want you to know

about this line of business
the business of which
is the mind alone

and it tells how things rest
in a jumbled order
like the pronunciation of English

But further it speaks of
resounding words
presented on behalf of

revenants and figments
of disorderly souls
Announcing our distinction from the rest

we wish you to understand
that poems are but dreams
riddled with words

                                         Grant Duncan 19.1.04

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

A tiny scent of smoke

A tiny scent of smoke
pockets of distant fire work

and a chopper cuts the dark
into the rhythm of its blades

That melancholy celebration
is a feast of burning leaves

and its restless audience
wishes for light and dance

Seagulls panic
Lear beckons

The zoo disgorges its guests
Disturbing air on black sky

signals shocking freedom
Those who were attending carefully this night

will recall it as exposed as
a scary bend on the old road down

Colours make more sense now
and sleep obscures print

but the fading season fades
despite the call never to end

     Grant Duncan, 8.3.13

Sunday, July 29, 2012


The book you can’t put down
didn’t seduce the reader

The pen may stop
but not the mind belied

by those imagined eyes
that read the script

Scrivel is scribed
on any dirty wall

On every tree trunk
all wide open skies

and the face of each potato
scrubbed clean

and readied for the oven
the message

the nutrient uttered
before it dies

The water drops and dries
and washes colours as it describes

in runnels
the way the reader felt

Grant Duncan 7.7.12